Team Direct Energie 2016: have fun and win many races!
Last Friday 15 January 2016 the Team Direct Energie was presented to the press. The team with its new sponsor will continue where Team Europcar stopped and according to Jean-René Bernaudeau (manager of the team) the main goal of the professional team of the "Vendée Cyclisme" structure remains to have fun.
Presentation of the new jersey, the riders of the team - from Thomas Voeckler to the comeback of Sylvain Chavanel, via the new young recruits of the Vendée U team - and the staff, let's have a look at how Team Direct Energie presents itself for 2016!
The new sponsor: Direct Energie
We already knew since October 2014 that Europcar would stop its sponsoring of the team with the same name at the end of 2015. We thus knew that, after having found Europcar as a last minute new sponsor after Bouygues Télécom left the team, Jean-René Bernaudeau again had to find a new sponsor in a bit less than one year, in order to have its file ready for the 2016 registration.
Several rumours appeared about possible new sponsors but the announcement of Direct Energie, the number 3 of the French energy market and also present in Belgium, as the new sponsor was quite a surprise anyway. With Jean-René Bernaudeau, the general manager of the team, we thus briefly discussed this search for a new sponsor and it turns out that the manager from the Vendée department, who will start the 17th season with this team in 2016, had been in touch with this company since quite a few years already.
In this interview you'll also discover the goals of the team for 2016 and the recruitments of new riders for this new season:
The riders of Team Direct Energie 2016
You must know it by now, Sylvain Chavanel made his comeback in the team (coming from IAM Cycling and after having left the team Brioches La Boulangère at the end of the 2004 season, the team he joined under the name Bonjour at its creation in 2000) and the team recruited no less than 4 riders of the Vendée U training team: Lilian Calmejane, Romain Cardis (our photo), Jérémy Cornu and Fabien Grellier. The other recruitments in the team are Adrien Petit, coming from Cofidis, and Ryan Anderson, a Canadian rider coming from the Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies team.
During the team presentation, Jean-René Bernaudeau got into the role of a journalist, by doing interviews with Thomas Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel, a surprise interview with Romain Sicard, the one of the team leader and sprinter of the team, Bryan Coquard, and finally the one with one of the riders coming from Vendée U, Romain Cardis. You can find these interviews (all of them, except for the one with Thomas Voeckler) in the video below:
The riders who stayed with the team coming from Team Europcar are the sprinter Bryan Coquard, the senior rider Thomas Voeckler, the winner of the first edition of the Classica Corsica and track rider, Thomas Boudat, the Canadian Antoine Duchesne, Yohann Gene, Romain Guillemois, Tony Hurel, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Julien Morice, Bryan Nauleau, Alexandre Pichot, Perrig Quéméneur, Romain Sicard, Guillaume Thévenot and Angelo Tulik.
The staff: Jimmy Engoulvent, from rider to trainer / directeur sportif
After Paris-Tours 2015, Jimmy Engoulvent (Team Europcar) said goodby to the professional peloton. Well, that is, his goodby as a rider because, starting this year, Engoulvent - coming from Le Mans and most successful in the 4 Jours de Dunkerque in 2012 - became a trainer / directeur sportif in the same structure, which is thus now known as Team Direct Energie.
In this interview you'll discover what Jimmy Engoulvent has to say about his new role in the team:
The photos of the team presentation of Team Direct Energie
A few hours only after the team presentation on Friday night, you might have discovered a photo selection of the Team Direct Energie team presentation in the dedicated photo section: